Plate prices continue long march upwards
For the third time in less than ten months, Agfa is increasing the price of its offset printing plates and chemicals, with double digit percentage rises, following hikes in April and August.
The double-digit price increases were applied on Monday. Printers will not find any joy anywhere else, Kodak will be increasing the price of its plates in 11 November, while Fujifilm also increased prices worldwide on Monday.
Agfa says raw material shortage remains an ongoing concern, and the competitive environment to secure aluminum and other raw materials has accelerated the cost increase. Recently, aluminum futures traded to a 30-year high on the London Metal Exchange, reporting now at more than double the cost of 18 months ago.
In addition to the raw material cost pressure, logistics and operational costs have soared, as the economic recovery drives demand for freight.
Frederik Dehing, vice president global sales, and former Agfa ANZ boss said, “Initially, we were hoping the inflationary pressure would be of a temporary nature, but the issues with global supplies of crucial raw materials have not shown any signs of stabilisation. They are likely to stay at these levels in 2022. Agfa will be reviewing the need for further pricing actions on a quarterly basis.”
It's not all bad news though, Agfa says as used aluminum offset plates are being recycled, the price increases will “to a large extent” be compensated for by the increased value printers will get from their scrap aluminum.